Thursday, January 29, 2015

Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard: Justice is Not Equality

I have posted numerous times on justice and equality (for instance here, here, and here).  It's a theme that runs through this blog.

The liberal view on justice is often that justice is equality.  Often this takes the form of justice being understood in terms of equal outcomes.  Are there a lot of white males in the administration?  Injustice!  Wage inequality? Injustice!  The first link above addresses that mindset.  Sometimes justice as equality takes the form of equal treatment.  To be just is to treat people or be treated by them equally.

This too I think is incorrect.  What all forms of justice as equality have in common is that the idea of justice is a COMPARATIVE notion.  Justice is a relation of equality that holds between a group or society wherein two or more people are treated equally or have equal outcomes.  And one only knows that a certain event, action, or state of affairs is just when one compares the action, event, etc. with actions, events, etc. done to another party.

I think that is wrong and I think the Biblical view of justice is that it is simply rendering or being rendered one's due.  I can treat you justly or unjustly and can know that I've treated you justly or unjustly regardless of whether I make a comparison with myself, you, and others.

I give everyone A's on the test. Have I acted justly?  Unjustly?  Has justice been served?  There is no way to tell simply by taking note of the fact that everyone has received the same outcome.  Rather, what I need to know is whether students have received what they were due--that is, whether they all had rights to an A and whether I had a duty to give them all A's.

I just recently reread the parable of the laborers in the vineyard in Matthew 20 and I think it better supports the view of justice as rendering or being rendered one's due rather than justice as equality.  Below the fold I reproduce the story and give my analysis.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Why Does College Cost So Much?

Part of the reason: Bloated administrations in part due to an increase in student loans.  Another part of the problem is ideology: colleges are often less about rigorous study and more about ideological indoctrination which costs money to implement.  See Subprime College Educations and Will College Bubble Burst From Subsidies and Problematic Boom in Higher Ed Administrators. [excerpts below].

To fix things I would start by eliminating the virtually useless government propped up accreditation agencies as I've discussed here and here.

As philosopher Robert Koons says in his excellent article on education: 

 Eliminate or ignore accreditation. The regional accrediting
bodies are little more than higher-education cartels, ensuring
that students can go to any college they like so long as they are
all the same. They discourage competition and are sustained
by the power of the federal government, which denies all
federal aid to students in non-accredited institutions. We
should replace “official” accreditation with private companies
that provide impartial, third-party assessments,


For what have institutions of higher learning done with their vast increases in revenues? The answer in all too many cases is administrative bloat.
Take the California State University system, the second tier in that state's public higher education. Between 1975 and 2008, the number of faculty rose by 3 percent, to 12,019 positions. During those same years, the number of administrators rose 221 percent, to 12,183. That's right: There are more administrators than teachers at Cal State now.
In all, from 1987 until 2011-12—the most recent academic year for which comparable figures are available—universities and colleges collectively added 517,636 administrators and professional employees, or an average of 87 every working day, according to the analysis of federal figures, by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting in collaboration with the nonprofit, nonpartisan social-science research group the American Institutes for Research.
[I]n 2009 the base salary of UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion was $194,000, almost four times that of starting assistant professors. And by 2006, academic administrators outnumbered faculty.
UC Davis has a Diversity Trainers Institute under an Administrator of Diversity Education, who presumably coordinates with the Cross-Cultural Center. It also has: a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center; a Sexual Harassment Education Program; a Diversity Program Coordinator; an Early Resolution Discrimination Coordinator; a Diversity Education Series that awards Understanding Diversity Certificates in “Unpacking Oppression”; and Cross-Cultural Competency Certificates in “Understanding Diversity and Social Justice.” California’s budget crisis has not prevented UC San Francisco from creating a new Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Outreach to supplement UCSF’s Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, and the Diversity Learning Center (which teaches how to become “a Diversity Change Agent”), and the Center for LGBT Health and Equity, and the Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention & Resolution, and the Chancellor’s Advisory Committees on Diversity, and on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, and on the Status of Women.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why Obama's "Free" Community College Plan is a Terrible Idea

Here's an idea: I really like watching football in HD.  It should be free!  I love books, too.  They should be free as well!  I need a computer to blog.  Obama should make it free!  New clothes would be nice.  Free!  Everything should be free!  Wouldn't that be great?  And we can make it happen.  We just have to use the might of the most powerful government on the planet to make other people give us their stuff!  Who's with me?!

Sorry, I got a little carried away there thinking about how I could vote myself lots of cool stuff.  In all seriousness Obama's plan is a bad idea.

For starters, the federal government has absolutely no business meddling with something as important as education.  There is no power related to education ("education" is in fact nowhere mentioned) in the Constitution and all powers not mentioned are reserved for the states.  Some will of course give a torturous reading of the Commerce Clause, 14th Amendment, etc. but such interpretations are just that: tortured.  George Bush should have known better with his "No Child Left Behind" policy (of course GW was a neo-Con and not old school).

Second, it's a subsidy for fat-cat administrators over schools that already have a dismal graduation rate.

Third, there is a real worry that it will hurt private colleges many of which are ALREADY at a disadvantage since they do not receive public funds directly.  Look where my private college (OBU) ranks in faculty salaries, for instance (I couldn't fit the whole table in, so what you get are just full professors, namely ones that have been teaching for a very long time; but the same holds across the board):

InstitutionCategory | State
Full professors avg. salary
Avg. raise for continuing full professors
Count of full professors
Avg. total compensation for full professors
University of Arkansas at FayettevilleDoctoral | Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Little RockMaster’s | Arkansas
Arkansas State UniversityMaster’s | Arkansas
University of Central ArkansasMaster’s | Arkansas
Hendrix CollegeBaccalaureate | Arkansas
Southern Arkansas UniversityBaccalaureate | Arkansas
Arkansas Tech UniversityBaccalaureate | Arkansas
Lyon CollegeBaccalaureate | Arkansas
Henderson State UniversityMaster’s | Arkansas
John Brown UniversityBaccalaureate | Arkansas
Ouachita Baptist UniversityBaccalaureate | Arkansas

Notice anything about the top and bottom? (I once interviewed for a Community College.  Thank heaven I didn't get the job.  But the pay would've been better than most of the private colleges I interviewed at.  The starting salaries here are in the low 40's.  The starting salary there--outside Cleveland--was in the 50's).

Fourth, it will arguably hurt religious institutions.  Public schools by their nature are not religious.  They tend to be bastions of political correctness for the very reason that they ultimately serve politicians.  (Of course there are leftist private institutions too).

Fifth, it is not free!  It will be paid for by taxation and in part by taxing college savings!?  Slate thinks it's a great idea (read it; it's hilarious).  This is classic:
It's also still a great idea. Unless, that is, you're really determined to subsidize college tuition for families with six-figure incomes so they can send their kids to Amherst or Brown. 
So not taxing interest made on savings (from money saved which has likely ALREADY been taxed at least once via income tax) is subsidizing the wealthy.  Only a born-again leftist could think that not taxing someone's savings' interest is subsidizing them.  Unbelievable--not to mention the fact that the majority of people with 529's saving for their kids' college make under $150,000!

Sixth, it makes a university education more like Grades 13 and 14 of high school.  This was exactly my wife's reaction when she first heard about it and it's the reaction of the author here.  I substitute taught for a year at public schools (and went to a good public school growing up) before I went on to do my Masters degree.  I never wanted to teach high school.  Why?  Because the students by and large take little responsibility for their education.  (I should know.  I was one of them!) They are FORCED to go and they PAY FOR NONE OF IT.  A college education is a privilege, not a right.

U.S. universities by and large are still the best in the world.  Germany can have its socialism and wonderful university vocational training.  We're not Germany nor should we want to be.  Unlike Europe, the Liberal Arts still has a foothold in the U.S. system. Don't fix what ain't broke.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gay Snacks or Southern Drawl??

Johno [4-yr.-old yelling down the hall]:  WHERE'S MY FAG NEWTON?!

Sam [6-yr-old brother]: It's not a Fag Newton, Johno.  It's a FIG Newton.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

What Would It Be Like to Be Married to Your Dad?

It's not coming?  Why not?  If it's consensual and "safe"?  Be open-minded.

What was it like?There’s a reason I lost my virginity to [my Dad]— because I’d never felt comfortable with any other man. It was insanely sensual. It lasted for about an hour and there was a lot of foreplay. We both had orgasms. We are so similar, so it’s so easy to sexually please each other. For example, we both love neck-biting. I’ve never been in a more passionate, loving, fulfilling situation.

Did you think that a relationship was a possibility?We discussed it before we had sex. I told him I was saving myself for someone who I’d be committed to for the rest of my life. It was important for me to make it clear that if I made love to him he was in a relationship with me. I didn’t regret it at all. I was happy for once in my life. We fell deeply in love. 

You’re engaged?I’m planning on a full-on wedding but it won’t be legally registered. And personally, I don’t believe you need a piece of paper to prove that you want to be with the person you love. When you get married, you are signing part of yourself over to somebody. We’ll tell everybody that we got our marriage license, but they don’t have to see it. One of our friends will act as the celebrant.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper and the F-Word

Mom: So we did something we normally don't do and watched an R-rated movie in the theater, American Sniper.  I have a question for you: Do people in the Army really use the F-Word so much?

Me: ABSOLUTELY!  That's what happens when you get a bunch of guys together whose mission is to kill people and break stuff.  I once was bored in my Commo shop and counted what the longest pause was between an F-word used in verbal, noun, adverbial, adjectival, etc. form: if I recall it was 14 seconds.

Military men are extremely talented in finding new and creative ways to deploy the F-Word!  Mom, if you read this, now that you've watched American Sniper, you should really watch Platoon and Black Hawk Down.  After all, I've been in a platoon, flown in Black Hawks, and been with 82nd brothers here:


What "pants" Teaches Us About "elohim" ("God")

Dale Tuggy makes a nice point about Biblical interpretation here.

I'll reproduce it below the fold:

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Now Playing: Who By Fire

The Matrix: Was Agent Smith a Thoroughgoing Environmentalist? Morpheus a Speciesist?

Hottest Year Ever?

Tisdale chart copy
There are climate deniers and climate believers, and among those there are many believers with religious zeal.  I remain a climate skeptic--way too much politics involved for me to have any definitive views on the issue.

It was entertaining this past week watching all the climate faithful--most of whom weren't themselves climate scientists--bloviate about the recent report from NASA that last year was the hottest year ever (or on record or...); it was like listening to people panic about the future catastrophes we all know are before us due to global warming based on the fact that yesterday was the hottest day in the last twenty years in Washington D.C.

Well, it turns out that NASA's model has a margin of error that was not mentioned originally, so they can't even be certain that last year was a record year (let alone that if it were, this is any evidence for anything important).

See here.  Reproduced below:

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!  If you’re a climatista, that is. The news that 2014 is the hottest year EVER!* has the climatistas wetting their drawers: we’re back in business! Amazing what two one-hundredths of one degree will do for the hard up.
John has already noted the general weakness of this case, but if you think John beats down on it, check out NASA’s Dr. Roy Spencer:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Robert E. Lee Redux

Oh, all right.  I'll take the bait.  (I presume this is what the people want and I want to give the people what they want).  I officially dedicate this post to Jordan French (though I'm not taking aim at him or anything he's said in particular since I only read the very end of his Facebook thread--I'm just honoring him because it was indeed his thread that motivated this post).

What is so bad about honoring, not Jordan French, but Robert E. Lee?  "NoMoreDonations" in the comment section on Facebook rhetorically ejaculates, "Robert E. Lee?  Are you freakin' kidding me?" but that's hardly an objection or an explanation let alone an argument.  For the sake of this post, I am going to set aside several issues which are worthy of discussion in their own right.  Among them I will set aside the history and motivation behind having a Robert E. Lee Day.  I will set aside that it is on the same day as MLK Jr. Day and whatever causes brought this about.  I set aside most of the entire biography of Robert E. Lee.  I will have nothing to say about these matters largely because I am ignorant about the historical facts of the matter--being a Northern victor by heritage, I've never cared (and, after all, we know to whom the spoils of history writing goes).  In fact, I shall largely abstract from Lee the man to consider someone in general (though on occasion I shall return to Lee).

The question that I will raise seems to me preliminary to those other questions: whether it is illicit to honor someone who has owned slaves, was a racist, and who believed that slave owning was not immoral. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

On MLK Jr. and Robert E. Lee Things

(Terrible title but the best I could do.)  In the current state that I live in, Arkansas, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert E. Lee Day are celebrated.  I didn't even realize there was a Robert E. Lee Day until this year thanks to the left-wing outcry about it. So a few random thoughts for the day:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Internet Batman?

I report, you decide.

Do All Valid Arguments Have an Invalid Form?

The caption reveals a poor argument.  Not knowing something is not a good reason to believe that there are aliens.  Among other things the argument is invalid.
It is of the clearly invalid form
therefore, q

With that in mind here are some thoughts in light of a recent series of emails between a few friends on invalidity and validity.

A valid argument is a deductive argument such that if the premises were true then the conclusion must be true.  An invalid argument is a deductive argument such that if the premises were true it's still possible that the conclusion is false.

Take the following instance of the invalid argument form known as Affirming the Consequent:

If Tully is a woman, then Tully is a human.
Tully is a human.
Thus, Tully is a woman.

The form of the argument is clearly invalid:
If p, then q
Thus, p

If the premises were true, the conclusion could still be false.

Now note that an argument can instantiate more than one form and that no invalid argument instantiates a valid form.

For instance, the above argument also apparently instantiates the following form which is also invalid:
p (premise 1)
q (premise 2)
r (conclusion)

Moreover, it appears to instantiate the following form as well:

p (premises)
q (conclusion)

Again, this is also an invalid form.

My question is: do all valid arguments also instantiate an invalid form?  On a first glance it would seem that they do since every argument appears to take the form:

p (premise/premises)
q (conclusion)

Maybe that's right.  We then say that an invalid argument instantiates no valid forms but a valid argument instantiates at least one valid form.

Nonetheless, I raise a question about this.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Too Many Old White Men at School

A reader of the blog (a faculty member at a university) chimes in with the following story:

I was in a Dean’s office earlier today, meeting about some matter, when an email arrived in her in-box detailing the following: another Dean was stepping down. Let’s call the Dean I'm in the office with “Dean.” Here is our commentary about the email starting with what "Dean" said:

Dean: “Awwww…that’s sad.”

Me: “Why?”

Dean: “Well, because she’s like the only non-old-white-male Dean we have.”

Me: “Uhhh…so?”

"Dean" then goes to her computer, looks up all of the Academic Deans and goes down the list, saying (repeatedly): “White man. White man. White man. White man…”

Me (again): “And your point is…?”

Dean (looking at me incredulously): “You seriously don’t think that’s a problem?!?!”

Me: “Nope. Not at all.”

Dean: “Yep, that’s what any white man would say.”

Me: “Stereotype much?”

Note from TB: The Dean thinks there is a problem.  Is there a problem?  Is the problem with the school or with the Dean?  What is the problem exactly?  Exercise for the reader: precisely explain what the problem is and then give a cogent argument that there is a problem here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Love Me for Me

When I hear people say "Love me for me" what I often hear is, "Love me because I'm really awesome in spite of everything obviously bad about me."

Can we love people without loving something about that person?  I sometimes jokingly tell my four-year-old son that I don't love him.

Johno: "No, Dad, you love me!"
Me: "Why would I love YOU?"
Johno: "Because I'm your son!"  [or sometimes "I don't know.  But you love me."]

Loving my son because he's my son is loving him because of something about him--he's my son.  Could I love my son Jonathan stripped down of everything about him?  What would that be like?  It would be like loving a haecceity. But one can't cognize haecceities (if there are such things) for there is no "aboutness" to them.  And one presumably can't love what can't be cognized.

Loving someone because of certain qualities, though, shouldn't be confused with loving those qualities.  It is someone with certain qualities that I love; I might love certain of those qualities as well, but one loves the person with qualities and the person is not a mere collection of qualities.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Atheists a Dying Breed?

'it's': these atheists can't spell
When I was a young, militant anti-Catholic, my good Catholic buddy would often remind me: "Sorry, friend.  We will always outnumber you because we have more children."

He had me.  The only way we'd overtake the Catholics, it seemed, was by out-converting them at a high rate.

But things are even worse for atheists in this regard it appears.  Though we are often told by atheism and scientism proselytizers that the "Enlightened" future will look grim for those of the "superstitious" persuasion, if the article linked to is correct (and based on my anecdotal evidence it sure seems likely), atheists have an evolutionary disadvantage--they just don't produce as many kids as people who are religious.  (Of course, the Christian faith also holds that the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church, but it doesn't hurt to have science on one's side).

Professor Jesse Bering, director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen's University, Belfast, who has just published "The God Instinct", a book on the origins of religion, said such an approach missed the basic point, that in practical terms evolution was reinforcing religion with every new generation.
He said: "Secular, nonreligious people are being dramatically out-reproduced by religious people of any faith. Since religiosity is to some degree a heritable trait, offspring born to religious parents are not only dyed in the wool of their faith through their culture, but may also be genetically more susceptible to indoctrination than children born to nonreligious parents."
He added: "As a childless gay atheist I suspect my own genes have a very mortal future ahead. But for any godless hetero-couples reading this, toss your contraceptives and get busy in the bedroom. Either that or, perish the thought, God isn't going anywhere anytime soon."

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Life After Faith: The Case for Secular Humanism

Alvin Plantinga reviews Philip Kitcher's new book:

"The central purpose of this book," according to the preface, "is to show how a thoroughly secular perspective can fulfill many of the important functions religion, at its best, has discharged" (p. xiii). Philip Kitcher concedes that this may take a while: "a fully rewarding secular world cannot be built in a day" (p. 2). Kitcher seems genuinely sympathetic to religious concerns, and genuinely concerned to understand them. He writes with sensitivity and insight. He has an attractive style and writes well (although it isn't always easy to tell precisely what he means to say).
Kitcher begins (chapter 1) by explaining why he rejects religion. Here he is more nuanced and less bombastic than the dreaded new atheists, who, as he suggests, overlook the central role religion plays in the lives of most of the world's population: "Yet the atheist movement today often seems blind to the apparently irreplaceable roles religion and religious community play in millions if not billion, of lives" (p. xiii). Nevertheless, he claims, religious beliefs, beliefs about "the transcendent" as he takes them to be, are "almost certainly false" (p. 105). I'll begin by outlining his suggestions as to how a secular outlook can serve the same functions and goals as religion; then I'll examine his arguments for atheism.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Why the Left WIll Not Admit the Threat of Radical Islam

MavPhil one more time

Why the Left Will Not Admit the Threat of Radical Islam

My philo cronies and I were discussing this over Sunday breakfast.  Why don't leftists -- who obviously do not share the characteristic values and beliefs of Islamists -- grant what is spectacularly obvious to everyone else, namely, that radical Islam poses a grave threat to what we in the West cherish as civilization, which includes commitments to free speech, open inquiry, separation of church and state, freedom of religion, freedom to reject religion, and so on?   Why do leftists either deny the threat or downplay its gravity?
Here is a quickly-composed  list of ten related reasons based on my own thinking and reading and on the contributions of my table mates Peter Lupu and Mike Valle.  A work in progress.  The reasons are not necessarily in the order of importance.  ComBox open!
1. Many leftists hold that no one really believes in the Islamic paradise.  The expansionist Soviets could be kept in check by the threat of nuclear destruction because, as communists, they were atheists and mortalists for whom this world is the last stop.  But the threat from radical Islam, to a conservative, is far more chilling since jihadis murder in the expectation of prolonged disportation with black-eyed virgins in a carnal post mortem paradise.  For them this world is not the last stop but a way station to that garden of carnal delights they are forbidden from enjoying here and now.  Most leftists, however, don't take religion seriously, and, projecting, think that no one else really does either despite what they say and pretend to believe.  So leftists think that jihadis are not really motivated by the belief in paradise as pay off for detonating themselves and murdering 'infidels.'  In this way they downplay the gravity of the threat.
This is a very dangerous mistake based on a very foolish sort of psychological projection!  Conservatives know better than to assume that everyone shares the same values, attitudes, and goals. See Does Anyone Really Believe in the Muslim Paradise? which refers to Sam Harris's debate with anthropologist Scott Atran on this point.
2. Leftists tend to think that deep down everyone is the same and wants the same things. They think that Muslims want what most Westerners want: money, cars, big houses, creature comforts, the freedom to live and think and speak and criticize and give offense as they please, ready access to alcohol  and other intoxicants, equality for women, same-sex 'marriage' . . . . 
This too is a very foolish form of psychological projection.  Muslims generally do not cherish our liberal values.  What's more, millions of Muslims view our in some ways decadent culture as an open sewer.  I quote Sayyid Qutb to this effect in What Do We Have to Teach the Muslim World?  Reflections Occasioned by the Death of Maria Schneider.
3. Leftists typically deny that there is radical evil; the bad behavior of Muslims can be explained socially, politically, and economically.  The denial of the reality of evil is perhaps the deepest error of the Left. 
4. Leftists tend to think any critique of Islam is an attack on Muslims and as such is sheer bigotry.  But this is pure confusion.  To point out the obvious, Islam is a religion, but no Muslim is a religion.  Muslims are people who adhere to the religion, Islam.  Got it?
When a leftist looks at a conservative he 'sees' a racist, a xenophobe, a nativist, a flag-waving, my-country-right-or-wrong jingoist, a rube who knows nothing of foreign cultures and reflexively hates the Other simply as Other.  In a word, he 'sees' a bigot. So he thinks that any critique of Islam or Islamism -- if you care to distinguish them -- is motivated solely by bigotry directed at certain people.  In doing this, however, the leftist confuses the worldview with its adherents.  The target of conservative animus is the destructive political-religious ideology, not the people who have been brainwashed into accepting it and who know no better.
5. Some leftists think that to criticize Islam is racist.  But this too is hopeless confusion.  Islam is a religion, not a race.  There is no race of Muslims. You might think that no liberal-leftist is so stupid as not to know that Islam is not a race.  You would be wrong.  See Richard Dawkins on Muslims.
6. Many leftists succumb to the Obama Fallacy: Religion is good; Islam is a religion; ergo, Islam is good; ISIS is bad; ergo, ISIS -- the premier instantiation of Islamist terror at the moment -- is not Islamic.  See Obama: "ISIL is not Islamic."
7. Leftists tend to be cultural relativists.  This is part of what drives the Obama Fallacy.  If all cultures are equally good, then the same holds for religions: they are all equally good, and no religion can be said to be superior to any other either in terms of truth value or contribution to human flourishing.  Islam is not worse that Christianity or Buddhism; it is just different, and only a bigot thinks otherwise.
But of course most leftists think that all religions are bad, equally bad.  But if so, then again one cannot maintain that one is superior to another.
8. Leftists tend to be moral equivalentists.  And so we witness the amazing spectacle of leftists who maintain that Christianity is just as much, or a worse, source of terrorism as Islam. See Juan Cole, Terrorism, and Leftist Moral Equivalency.
Leftists are also, many of them, moral relativists, though inconsistently so.  They think that it is morally wrong (absolutely!) to criticize or condemn the practices of another culture (stoning of adulterers, e.g.) because each culture has its own morality that is valid for it and thus only relatively valid.  The incoherence of this ought to be obvious.  If morality is relative, then we in our culture have all the justification we need and could have to condemn and indeed suppress and eliminate the barbaric practices of Muslims.
9. Leftists tend to deny reality.  The reality of terrorism and its source is there for all to see: not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terroists at the present time are Muslims.  Deny that, and you deny reality.  But why do leftists deny reality?
A good part of the answer is that they deny it because reality does not fit their scheme.  Leftists confuse the world with their view of the world. In their view of the world, people are all equal and religions are all equal --  equally good or equally bad depending on the stripe of the leftist.  They want it to be that way and so they fool themselves into thinking that it is that way.  Moral equivalency reigns.  If you point out that Muhammad Atta was an Islamic terrorist, they shoot back that Timothy McVeigh was a Christian terrorist -- willfully  ignoring the crucial difference that the murderous actions of the former derive from Islamic/Islamist doctrine whereas the actions of the latter do not derive from Christian doctrine.
And then these leftists like Juan Cole compound their willful ignorance of reality by denouncing those who speak the truth as 'Islamophobes.' That would have been like hurling the epithet 'Naziphobe' at a person who, in 1938, warned of the National Socialist threat to civilized values.  "You, sir, are suffering from a phobia, an irrational fear; you need treatment, not refutation."
When a leftist hurls the 'Islamophobe!' epithet that is his way of evading rational discussion by reducing his interlocutor to someone subrational, someone suffering from cognitive dysfunction.  Now how liberal and tolerant and respectful of persons is that?
10. Leftists hate conservatives because of the collapse of the USSR and the failure of communism; hence they reflexively oppose  anything conservatives promote or maintain. (This was Peter Lupu's suggestion at our breakfast meeting.)  So when conservatives sound the alarm, leftists go into knee-jerk oppositional mode.  They willfully enter into a delusional state wherein they think, e.g., that the threat of Christian theocracy is real and imminent, but that there is nothing to fear from Islamic theocracy.


Lupu's suggestion was my first thought as well. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" kind of thing. But the left is not known for its historical acumen or long-term memory (even leftists, as knee-jerk and impulsive as they are, adopted the conservative viewpoint about the threat of Islam on 9/12/2001), so I wouldn't be surprised if the "enemy of my enemy" part has been largely forgotten. Now the left's friendship with Islam is sustained by the shield of political correctness the former provides the latter.

11. Leftists have a shared loathing of the Great Satan.

What Explains the Left's Toleration of Militant Islam?


What Explains the Left's Toleration of Militant Islam?

From 1789 on, a defining characteristic of the Left has been hostility to religion, especially in its institutionalized forms. This goes together with a commitment to such Enlightenment values as individual liberty, belief in reason, and equality, including equality among the races and between the sexes. Thus the last thing one would expect from the Left is an alignment with militant Islam given the latter’s philosophically unsophisticated religiosity bordering on rank superstition, its totalitarian moralism, and its opposition to gender equality.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The F-Word in Our House

Johno (4-year-old):  "Mommy, I heard him say the F-word!"
Me (overhearing): "SAY WHAT?!"

Johno: "Mom, who made up the F-word?"

Johno: "Why is the F-word bad?"

Amy (to me): "He doesn't mean that.  He means the word for 'toot.'"
Me: Ahhhh....(pheeeww).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Lesson in 1984 Newspeak

Remember the book/film "1984"?  I have mentioned it in the current context here and here.  Well, The New Criterion has a perceptive list of 'new' Newspeak words that deserve at least a glance. Stay observant lest you succumb to stupefaction by the mindless memes of the left.  Below is a sample:

DIVERSITY: People who look different but think the same way. Diversity applies to race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. It emphatically does not apply to opinion. Indeed, when it comes to political views, it has taken on more or less the opposite of its Oldspeak meaning.

FAIRNESS: State-enforced equality. It absolutely doesn’t mean reciprocity, proportionate reward, or just deserts. Note from TB: Correct. Justice [i.e. the real thing not the pretend thing which is "social justice"] is not fairness.  

PROFIT: Wickedness. Always a bad thing, but the severity of the term varies according to context. When talking about a supermarket, it simply means greed (q.v.) and exploitation. When discussing trains or hospitals, it means homicidal tendencies, and is thus used as an antonym to safety—which, of course, means more regulation.

POVERTY: Inequality. Poverty is officially defined in the U.K. as having an income less than 60 percent of the mean. A few people get rich and, even if you’re better off in absolute terms, you’re suddenly “poor.” Funnily enough, the recent recession, which saw incomes drop at every level, caused a fall in “poverty” by this definition, but Lefties were more upset than ever. There really is no pleasing some people.

COMMUNITY: The state—or, more precisely, the state’s bureaucracy. The one thing it emphatically doesn’t mean is a voluntary association of individuals. When people talk of “involving the community,” they invariably want more legislation.  Note from TB: Exactly.  Remember all the stories about Obama in his days as a "community organizer"?
Here is Obama teaching communist Saul Alinsky's principles: I think he accidentally left out "Senator," "Bureaucrat," and "President"

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Razorback Kid Has a Lot to Learn About the Buckeye State

In Ohio...

Jondo (4 yr. old): What is that stuff on the window?

Malea: That's ice, buddy.

Jondo: Is it poisonous?

Defending the Oppressed: Grandfather Saves Granddaughter From Rape

This is the sort of story that happens all the time that you also NEVER hear about in the mainstream media.  It goes hand-in-hand with this dismantling of Adam Gopnik's STUPID rant about gun-control at the New Yorker.

The granddad (who is not named in any news report) is a hero.  And he got his stolen Cadillac back to boot!

The last line below is priceless.


Via Robert Stacy McCain, an inspiring story from North Carolina:
A Lumberton man traded gunfire with three men who forced their way into his home, robbed the family, tried to rape his granddaughter and stole his car Monday, Robeson County authorities said.
One of the men, identified as Jamie Faison, 20, was shot and found dead in the stolen Cadillac parked at his home on the 600 block of Singletary Church Road, Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said in a news release.
The two other men turned up at area hospitals with gunshot wounds. … The homeowner, Kenneth Byrd, 67, was shot multiple times, the release said. …
The family told them that a man came to the door and said he was having problems with his vehicle and needed water.
Here are the three criminals. I’m not sure which of the three rang the doorbell, and of course no one would ever recommend profiling of any sort, but if any of these guys came to your door, you should probably keep it locked:
Two men wearing black clothing, ski masks and gloves forced their way into the home and demanded money, Sealey said. All three of the men had guns.
The Byrds were pushed to the back of their home and instructed to open a safe.
When the men tried to rape the couple’s granddaughter, Byrd grabbed a gun and exchanged shots with the assailants, Sealey said.
The grandfather was shot multiple times, but prevailed. Hats off to him. I am pretty sure the granddaughter is thankful that he had a gun in the house and knew how to use it.
McCain adds this priceless observation:
Feminists had no comment, as these would-be rapists were not members of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.